Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4.32
Did you know that this week, February 10-16, is Random Acts of Kindness Week? That little fact had slipped my mind until a radio broadcast I had been listening to at work reminded me.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” –William James
When given this week’s Blog Roll assignment for the M2C (Made to Crave) online Bible study I’ve been working through, I laughed out loud. What a coincidence option four was. Let me tell you why…
One year ago, I got this crazy idea to compile a list of acts of kindness on my birthday; the number of acts equating my age that particular year. So I did and, in doing so, God stretched my heart a little bit more than I expected Him to.
You see, I wasn’t focused on me as some of us usually are on our birthdays. After all, it’s my day, right?
It’s God’s day.
“This is the day the Lord has made. [I] will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118.24 NLT
It’s His. He owns it. I’m just one of the many stewards of it.
The way I saw it, I could either do the same thing and do what I wanted all day long, feeling just as empty by day’s end as I did when it started
I could make it make about Him and about others.
Today is February 13.
Twenty-nine years ago, I came into this world.
That can seem like a lot when writing out a list
and, like last year, I’ve committed myself to one of those lists.
Acts of kindness
I can’t call them random because each one is planned out in advance:
Appointments have been made
Letters were written and mailed off prior to today
A stranger’s coffee paid for
Flowers delivered to a local nursing home
Notes of encouragement were written beforehand and left on random, public bathroom mirrors:
“You’ve got this!”
“Good morning, beautiful!”
“You…yes, you…are loved.”
Forgiveness given and the words “I love you” said and meant…
And best of all, I get to spend all of it with Him.
One act can go a long way.
Jesus created kindness; He’s the Author and Master of it. He greeted a Samaritan women in the middle of the day, something a Jewish man in that culture would never have done. He saw her sin, met her deepest need and loved her anyway. He healed the sick and the lame. Restored sight to the blind and rose the dead. He taught by living the two greatest commandments:
“To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”
“To love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
He expects us to do the same and if I am (if you are) a true follower of Jesus Christ, you will, naturally. In this, we can make a difference. We can share His love with those our lives touch.
Acts of kindness don’t have to big. They don’t have to be expensive; I didn’t break the bank with mine.
And it doesn’t have to end today.
God taught me that last year and I can’t wait to see what He brings about today. I’m sure I’ll still be processing a month from now.
So yes, these acts of kindness have helped me immensely in becoming others-focused. One act can lead to thousands of lives being touched. That person who’s coffee was paid for may have paid for the person behind him or her and so on.
Blessings abound. For instance, just last night, a clerk at my local Trader Joe’s asked what all the flowers were for. I told him and, in turn, he stopped me before I left the building, disappeared for a moment and returned with a bunch of yellow roses (my favorite), on the house. In that brief moment, I saw Jesus staring back at me with a big smile on His face and I felt incredibly and deeply loved.
We don’t realize how many people walk among us every day who are lonely, insecure, insignificant and are not accustomed to getting anything “free” or receiving anything they have not earned or deserved. Doing things for people just to be a blessing and not expect anything in return is an amazing way to show God’s love.
What’s on your list? Or what could be?
Make one. Or don’t. Just do it, as Nike would say.